Monday, March 4, 2024

Best Mario Kart 64 Characters Ranked, Who Is The Best?


Today we will attempt to answer the decades old question, which is the best Mario Kart 64 character? There are some great names to choose from and there are different opinions out on who is the best but in this ranking guide, every choice is based on my opinion and experience with Marion Kart 64.

#8. Donkey Kong

donkey kong best mario kart 64 character list

Donkey Kong is best suited for experienced players who have a good grasp of the tracks and can navigate them with minimal errors. These players know how to leverage his speed and weight to their advantage while mitigating the downsides of his slower acceleration and handling. He’s for those who prefer power and speed over agility and can strategically use his weight class to control the race, especially in multiplayer settings where direct competition with others can be used to his advantage.


  • Top Speed: Donkey Kong is among the characters with the highest top speed in the game. Once he gets going, he can outpace many of the other racers, especially on straightaways.
  • Weight Advantage: His heavy weight class allows him to bump lighter characters off the track or slow them down significantly, which can be a strategic advantage in races.
  • Stability: He’s less likely to spin out from lighter attacks or smaller obstacles, maintaining his course more easily than lighter characters.


  • Acceleration: Donkey Kong suffers from slow acceleration. If you get hit or make a mistake, it takes longer to get back to top speed, which can be a significant disadvantage in races filled with obstacles and attacks.
  • Handling: His handling and cornering abilities are not as agile as those of lighter characters. Tight turns require more effort and skill to navigate efficiently without losing speed.
  • Vulnerability to Attacks: Despite his size offering some stability, being a larger target and slower to recover makes him more vulnerable to the full effects of certain attacks, like shells and bananas.

Who Shouldn’t Play Donkey Kong In Mario Kart 64

If a player struggles with tight corners or technical sections of tracks, Donkey Kong’s handling could prove to be more of a hindrance than an asset. Players who find themselves often caught in the chaos of item attacks may become frustrated with his slow recovery time.

#7. Wario

wario best mario kart 64 character list

Wario is ideal for players who have mastered track layouts and can anticipate turns and hazards well in advance, allowing them to maintain high speeds with minimal interruption. He suits those who prefer to use strategic positioning and physical dominance on the track to secure victories, especially in multiplayer settings where disrupting opponents can be as crucial as racing skill. Experienced players who can minimize the impact of his cons, such as slow acceleration and handling, will find Wario a competitive choice for both time trials and races.


  • Top Speed: Similar to Donkey Kong, Wario is among the characters with a high top speed. Once he reaches his maximum speed, he can easily outstrip many competitors on longer, straighter sections of a track.
  • Weight Class: Being a heavyweight, Wario can use his mass to his advantage by bumping into lighter characters to disrupt their racing line or even knock them off the track.
  • Stability: His heavyweight nature makes him less susceptible to being bumped off course by lighter characters or minor obstacles, helping maintain a steady racing line.


  • Acceleration: Wario’s main drawback is his slow acceleration. Getting back up to speed after being stopped or slowed down can take crucial seconds, which is a significant disadvantage in item-heavy races or tracks with many obstacles.
  • Handling and Maneuverability: Wario’s handling is not as nimble as lighter characters, making tight turns and quick dodges more challenging and requiring more precision from the player.
  • Recovery Time: Due to his slow acceleration, recovering from hits by items or mistakes takes longer, potentially costing valuable positions in a race.

Who Shouldn’t Play Wario In Mario Kart 64

If a player finds tight and technical track sections challenging, Wario’s bulk and slower handling might lead to more frequent collisions with track boundaries or obstacles, slowing them down further.

Players who often find themselves the target of many items or who struggle to avoid track hazards might be frustrated by Wario’s slow acceleration, as it can hinder their ability to quickly re-enter the fray after being hit.

#6. Bowser

bowser best mario kart 64 character list

Bowser is ideal for seasoned players who prefer raw power and speed over agility and can strategically minimize the impact of his weaknesses. He’s for those who are confident in their ability to maintain a lead once it’s established and can use their knowledge of the tracks to avoid situations that would necessitate rapid acceleration or quick, tight maneuvers. Bowser players often rely on intimidating their opponents and maintaining a strategic position on the track to ensure victory, making him a choice for players who enjoy a challenge and can master his unique driving style.


  • Top Speed: Bowser boasts the highest top speed among all characters in Mario Kart 64. In races where he can maintain his velocity, he’s practically unbeatable on straightaways.
  • Weight Class: As the heaviest character in the game, Bowser can easily shove aside other racers, making him a formidable opponent in direct confrontations. This can be especially advantageous in multiplayer races where positioning and interactions with other players are key.
  • Stability: His weight grants him a high degree of stability, reducing the likelihood that he’ll spin out from lighter attacks or when colliding with smaller obstacles.


  • Acceleration: Bowser’s acceleration is the slowest of all characters, making recovery from stops or slowdowns painfully slow. This can be a critical weakness in courses with frequent stops or in races where items are heavily used.
  • Handling: His handling is relatively poor, making tight corners and quick maneuvers difficult. Players must anticipate turns well in advance to navigate efficiently.
  • Vulnerability to Items: Despite his size and stability, Bowser’s slow acceleration makes him particularly vulnerable to items that stop or slow him down, as it takes him longer to recover and regain his top speed.

Who Shouldn’t Play Bowser In Marion Kart 64

Players who struggle with precision steering or who prefer tracks with lots of tight corners may find Bowser challenging to control effectively. In races where items are frequently used, Bowser’s slow recovery can be a significant disadvantage, as he can lose his lead quickly if hit.

#5. Mario

mario best mario kart 64 character list

Players who value versatility and the ability to adapt to various racing conditions will appreciate Mario’s balanced stats. He’s reliable on virtually any track, making him a great choice for players who don’t want to specialize in a single racing style.

Mario is an excellent choice for beginners or those who prefer a more forgiving character. His balanced attributes mean that he’s less likely to spin out or suffer from extreme weaknesses, offering a steady and controlled racing experience.

For players who enjoy employing a mix of speed, handling, and tactical item use, Mario’s balanced capabilities allow for a dynamic racing strategy that can be adapted on the fly to counteract opponents’ strengths and weaknesses.


  • Balanced Performance: Mario is the quintessential all-rounder in Mario Kart 64, offering a balanced mix of acceleration, top speed, and handling. This makes him a versatile choice for any track.
  • Good Acceleration: While not the fastest in terms of acceleration, Mario’s is robust enough to recover quickly from hits or mistakes, keeping him competitive in races filled with obstacles and attacks.
  • Handling: Mario offers responsive handling and control, making it easier for players to navigate through tight corners and dodge items effectively.


  • Jack of All Trades, Master of None: While being balanced, Mario doesn’t excel in any specific area. This means he can be outperformed by characters who specialize in top speed or acceleration in situations where those attributes are crucial.
  • Vulnerability to Heavier Characters: Despite his balanced approach, Mario can still be pushed around by heavier characters, which can be a disadvantage in races where positioning and physical interactions are key.

Who Shouldn’t Play Mario In Mario Kart 64

In races where specific attributes are favored (e.g., tracks with long straightaways benefiting top speed), Mario may struggle to keep up with characters who excel in those areas. Experienced players seeking a character with a more defined strength or weakness to master might find Mario’s balanced nature less challenging or engaging.

#4. Luigi

luigi best mario kart 64 character list

Luigi is an excellent choice for players who value the ability to quickly adapt to different racing conditions. His balanced performance and particularly agile handling make him suitable for a wide range of tracks.

For those who prioritize precise control and maneuverability, Luigi’s responsive handling can make navigating through the game’s more challenging sections more manageable.

Players looking for a character who can consistently perform well, regardless of the track or the level of competition, will find Luigi to be a reliable selection. His balanced attributes ensure that he is competitive in nearly every situation.


  • Agile Handling: Luigi is known for his slightly more agile handling compared to Mario, which allows for smoother navigation through tight corners and quick direction changes. This can be particularly advantageous on tracks with a lot of twists and turns.
  • Good Acceleration: Like Mario, Luigi has robust acceleration, enabling quick recovery from stops, hits by items, or other disruptions. This attribute makes him a resilient competitor in races where frequent recovery is necessary.
  • Balanced Attributes: Offering a well-rounded mix of speed, acceleration, and handling, Luigi is versatile across various track types, making him a reliable choice for players who prefer a balanced approach to racing.


  • Middle-of-the-Road Speed: While Luigi’s top speed is decent, he doesn’t excel in this area. In races where top speed can be the deciding factor, Luigi might find it challenging to outpace characters with a speed advantage.
  • Competitive Disadvantage Against Specialists: In scenarios where specific attributes are critical for success, Luigi’s balanced nature might not stand out against characters who are specialized in either speed or acceleration, particularly in time trials or specific track conditions.
  • Vulnerability to Weight: Similar to Mario, Luigi can be susceptible to being bumped or pushed off course by heavier characters, which can be a strategic disadvantage in races with close quarters or heavy interaction among racers.

Who Shouldn’t Play Luigi In Mario Kart 64

Players who prefer the strategic advantages of top speed or the ability to dominate physically in races might find Luigi’s balanced approach less appealing, as it doesn’t cater to these extremes.

Those looking for a character with a steep learning curve or a more pronounced strength or weakness to exploit might not find Luigi as engaging due to his balanced and accessible nature.

#3. Princess Peach

peach best mario kart 64 character list

Peach is ideal for players who value the ability to recover swiftly from attacks and maintain momentum in races, thanks to her leading acceleration.

For those who excel in navigating tight corners and complex track layouts, Peach’s agility and handling make her a strong competitor, allowing for precise control and efficient racing lines.

Players who are adept at using items strategically will benefit from Peach’s ability to quickly regain speed after deploying them, enabling a hit-and-run style of racing that keeps opponents off-balance.


  • Excellent Acceleration: Peach stands out for her exceptional acceleration, enabling her to recover rapidly from stops or after being hit by items. This feature is particularly advantageous in races where frequent deceleration occurs, allowing her to quickly regain her top speed.
  • Agile Handling: Her lightweight class contributes to nimble handling and tight cornering capabilities, making Peach an excellent choice for tracks with complex turns and technical sections.
  • Good for Dodging Items: Due to her quick acceleration and responsive handling, Peach can more easily dodge items and navigate through the chaos of competitive races, maintaining speed and avoiding common pitfalls.


  • Vulnerability to Heavier Characters: Peach’s light weight makes her susceptible to being bumped off course or slowed down significantly by heavier characters, which can be a strategic disadvantage in races with close interactions.
  • Lower Top Speed: While her acceleration is top-notch, Peach’s top speed is not as high as some of the heavier characters, which might put her at a disadvantage on tracks with long straightaways where top speed is crucial.
  • Can Be Challenging for Beginners: Players new to Mario Kart 64 might find it challenging to manage Peach’s quick acceleration and light weight, especially in avoiding hazards and controlling her at high speeds.

Who Shouldn’t Play Princess Peach In Mario Kart 64

If a player prefers a more confrontational racing style or heavily relies on bumping and blocking opponents, Peach’s light weight could be a significant disadvantage.

Players who prioritize reaching and maintaining the highest possible top speed over the ability to accelerate quickly might find Peach’s performance on longer, straighter tracks lacking compared to some of her competitors.

#2. Toad

toad best mario kart 64 character list

Toad is ideal for those who value the ability to quickly bounce back from setbacks, ensuring that they remain competitive even in item-heavy races.

Players who excel on tracks that require sharp turns and quick maneuvers will find Toad’s handling capabilities perfectly suited to their skills, allowing them to navigate complex routes with ease.

Toad’s racing style supports a strategic approach, where quick acceleration can be used to swiftly exploit gaps or escape from crowded situations, making him excellent for players who think quickly and act decisively.


  • Top-Notch Acceleration: Toad is celebrated for his outstanding acceleration, which allows for immediate recovery after deceleration or when hit by items. This trait is crucial in maintaining momentum throughout the race, especially on tracks with frequent interactions and obstacles.
  • Exceptional Handling: Toad’s lightweight status grants him exceptional handling and agility, enabling tight and efficient cornering. His maneuverability is a significant advantage on technically challenging tracks.
  • Effective Item Avoidance: With his swift acceleration and nimble handling, Toad can adeptly dodge attacks and navigate through dense item traffic, minimizing disruptions to his race pace.


  • Susceptible to Knockback: Being one of the lightest characters, Toad is easily affected by collisions with heavier racers, which can lead to significant course deviations or slowdowns in tight racing situations.
  • Lower Top Speed: His maximum speed isn’t as high as that of the heavier characters, putting him at a disadvantage in sections where racers can fully exploit their top speed.
  • Requires Precision: Toad’s quick response and light handling demand precise control to avoid oversteering or mismanaging tight turns, which might challenge less experienced players.

Who Shouldn’t Play Toad In Mario Kart 64

For players who rely on using their racer’s weight to dominate the competition or prefer a less nimble, more straightforward racing style, Toad’s lightweight nature and emphasis on finesse might not align with their preferences.

On tracks where long stretches allow racers to maximize their top speed, Toad’s lower maximum speed could be a drawback, requiring players to work harder to maintain competitiveness.

#1. Yoshi

yoshi best mario kart 64 character list

Yoshi’s balanced combination of acceleration and speed, along with excellent handling, makes him adaptable to a wide range of track layouts, from technical circuits to speed-favoring courses.

Players who prefer an agile and responsive racing experience will appreciate Yoshi’s quick acceleration and tight cornering abilities, making him suitable for those who enjoy a dynamic and engaging driving style.

Yoshi is ideal for players who excel in using items strategically and value the ability to quickly recover from hits, ensuring that they can stay in the race even when under constant pressure from opponents.


  • Excellent Acceleration: Yoshi is renowned for his splendid acceleration, enabling swift recovery from stops or after taking hits from items. This makes him exceptionally agile in races, allowing for rapid speed recovery and maintaining race momentum.
  • Great Handling and Maneuverability: His light weight contributes to outstanding handling and agility, facilitating tight cornering and efficient navigation through complex sections of tracks. Yoshi’s maneuverability is a critical asset on tracks that demand precise steering.
  • Competitive Top Speed: Among the light characters, Yoshi has a competitive top speed, which, when combined with his acceleration, makes him a formidable racer across a variety of track conditions.


  • Vulnerability to Heavier Characters: Due to his lighter weight, Yoshi can be bumped off course or slowed down by collisions with heavier racers, which can be problematic in tight racing conditions.
  • Balancing Speed and Control: While Yoshi is agile and quick, mastering his handling at high speeds requires skill, as his light weight can lead to oversteering or losing control in high-speed situations.
  • Slight Disadvantage on Pure Speed Tracks: On tracks where the ability to maintain the highest possible top speed is crucial (long, straight sections without many turns), Yoshi might slightly lag behind the heaviest characters who excel in top speed.

Who Shouldn’t Play Yoshi In Mario Kart 64

Racers who favor using their character’s mass to dominate the competition or enjoy the stability and momentum of heavier characters might find Yoshi’s lighter weight and emphasis on finesse less appealing.

Players who struggle to control light characters at high speeds or prefer a more straightforward, power-based racing approach may find Yoshi’s quick but sensitive handling challenging to master.

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Hey there! I'm Jake, and for the past eight years, I've been diving deep into journalism and whipping up video game guides. Big-time Pokemon fanatic? That's me. Obsessed with RPGs? Guilty as charged. When I'm not jotting down the latest game tips or hunting for that elusive Pokemon, I'm geeking out with fellow gamers and sharing my latest adventures; 2500+ articles and still going! Dive into my world and let's game on!

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